Palami puzzled by AFC refusal to allow Global new-boy Matt Hartmann to play against South China
Global FC team owner Dan Palami hopes the lineup issue can be resolved before the March 11 game in Malaysia. Jaime Campos

GLOBAL FC was already down two men even before kickoff and owner Dan Palami believes that prevented the team from putting up a good fight against South China on Wednesday night in the Asian Football Confederation Cup.

Palami said they learned just an hour before the kickoff that only 19 men from the 21-man lineup would be allowed by the AFC and Global have yet to confirm why.

That kept newly-acquired kept winger Matt Hartmann and a foreign player out of the match and apparently disrupted the club’s game plan.

"We're really at a disadvantage," Palami said after Global FC suffered a 6-1 beating.

[See Rude awakening as Global FC dealt a hammering by six-goal South China in horror AFC Cup debut]

"We just couldn't think of a reason why the lineup was disallowed," he added, stressing that they passed their 21-man roster ahead of the deadline a week prior to the match.

"The lineup was submitted before the deadline... unless we are interpreting it differently," the concurrent Azkals manager said. "We have to check."

Global FC still has five games left, and the club hopes to resolve the issue before the next match against Pahang FA on March 11 in Malaysia.

"Matt should've been there plus one foreign player," Palami said.

But the Global boss says he doesn’t want to take anything away from South China, which came up with a fine game.

"A loss is always tough and even tougher when you lose by that scoreline, Palami said. "But we have to learn from this.

"The good thing was we could find our way in their box to go for a score. If we cover ourselves better in counters, we'll stand a better chance against the other teams."

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos